scandinavian kitchen design

Modern Scandinavian design is a movement born out of the harsh climates of the Nordic countries in the early 20th century, coming into its own and flourishing in the 1950s. For years, Scandinavian designers such as Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen from Denmark, Olav Haug from Norway and Alvar Aalto of Finland have influenced international styles.

Although Scandinavian design trends have remained a constant internationally since the fifties, in recent years the characteristically minimalist designs have begun to experience a renaissance outside of the Nordic countries. With concepts such as the Danish ‘hygge’ seemingly unavoidable in the current interior design conversation, there has never been a better time to bring a hint of Scandinavian design into your home.

Defined by a combination of practical minimalism, neutrality and an intertwining of form and function, Scandinavian design can be seamlessly worked into modern kitchen designs. Read on to discover how to bring a touch of Nordic charm into your kitchen.


A core element of Scandinavian design is the use of neutral colours. Traditionally whites and light greys form the basis of Nordic interiors, helping to accentuate the natural and artificial lighting of the home. For a more apparent Nordic look, choose a white base for your walls or your kitchen cabinetry paired with warm woods such as oak. For a less conventional take on Nordic style, combine warm or soft greys with chalky colours. Utilising different tones of grey and beige, or even by incorporating muted greens, blues and pinks into your design will create your own unique version of this popular style.


With minimalism being at the heart of Scandinavian design, it’s important to play with the form and layout of the kitchen furniture to add interest to the design. For example, this Extreme kitchen features a floating cabinet on the island in a combination of materials to add interest whilst still retaining the minimalist style.

As with any minimalist design, subtle design details become even more important. Finer details such as playing with the depth and finish of the worktops can add uniqueness to your kitchen without compromising the Scandi aesthetic. Here the white quartz worktop is layered with natural oak, creating a contrasting worktop edge.

Scandinavian kitchen island


With the towns and cities in the far north of Scandinavia having very few hours of daylight during the winter, lighting has always been of huge importance to Nordic design trends. Bright lights with a simple design are a staple of modern Scandinavian stylings and pendant lights are an elegant way to continue the Scandi look and create atmosphere. These Tom Dixon white pendants feature a gold interior to add an element of luxury industrialism to your Scandinavian design and when illuminated they also cast a cosy, warm glow.

Tom Dixon pendant light

Tom Dixon White Pendant Light


Minimalism extends beyond the design of the furniture to the furnishing and accessorising of your whole kitchen space. Ensuring you have a range of beautiful storage solutions which effortlessly fuse form and function is hugely important when choosing to go Nordic. Cluttered tables, sides and windowsills are decidedly un-Scandinavian. Larders such as this one can be crafted to suit your exact storage needs, an additional work surface area with power sockets could provide a perfect way to hide appliances such as toasters and blenders out of sight.

bespoke kitchen larder

Botanicals play a vital role in accessorising a Scandinavian design. Once again, less is more and foliage should be green with minimal flowers or colour – opt for greenery such as eucalyptus, monstera or ferns rather than large bouquets of colourful flowers. Play with placing just a few stems in a vase to add a touch of greenery without becoming too busy.

Rose and Grey faux potted plant

If you prefer a low maintenance faux foliage, we’re loving the Abigail Ahern faux botanicals. They look great and they’re great value too. 

Despite being known for its minimalism, Scandinavian interior design also calls for cutting edge statement pieces. The white walls of a Nordic kitchen are ideal places to hang beautiful, eye-catching contemporary art pieces. A characterful kitchen that at times feels more like a gallery is a wonderful place to cook, entertain guests and just spend time appreciating the finery of Scandinavian design.

Minimalist statements should take more forms than art. For example, kitchen furniture should be used sparingly and as an artistic statement. Scandinavian furniture designs exude artistry while retaining their functionality; take Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair or Eero Saarinen’s tulip designs. Both of these designers took it upon themselves to take design to its extreme. Crafting unique avant garde furniture that inspires helps to create a focal point for an otherwise overtly minimalist kitchen.

Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair


As each kitchen we create at Extreme is unique, we will always collaborate with our clients to personalise their design to them, their family or their property – this is especially important when aspiring for a particular look or style. When our clients aspire for a look such as ‘Scandinavian’ we encourage them to deliver the style in their own way, for example selecting colours or materials that have emotional significance or meaning to them.

The mood board below was created for a client seeking to achieve a Scandinavian look with a ‘hygge’ feel. As well as drawing influence from this style, we took inspiration from sentimental objects around our client’s home and the property’s location to create an interpretation that is special and meaningful to them.

Scandinavian kitchen design

If you are looking for a kitchen that will reflect your unique aspirations and individuality then contact the Extreme Design team for a truly bespoke and collaborative kitchen design service.